CGTalk > Main Forums > Education
Login register
Thread Closed share thread « Previous Thread | Next Thread »
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-10-2008, 01:53 AM   #46
Birkie
Veteran
 
Birkie's Avatar
portfolio
James Robinson
United Kingdom
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 44
space-sprayer, I just graduated from Teesside this year, and I think your rant was warranted. Your efforts to fix some of the shortcomings sound very admirable. I didn't have your unfortunate experience with the animation programs, but, while the facilities, as you say, are amazing, many of the problems with the teaching and curriculum laid out in the OP's article are present despite the geniune efforts of the staff - which is quite depressing considering that Teesside is the, or one of the, top universities in the UK for games courses. It means that others have the same problems or worse!

There is just so much to learn where 3D is concerned that students end up spread all over the place. When I actually started looking at the job market I realised what a huge problem it is that students of 3D courses graduate as generalists and most games companies aren't interested in hiring those. Students are presented with a "computer graphics buffet" of a little here and a little there but nothing in enough depth to develop real skill, and I think guidance for students as to which areas of 3D they want to specialise in, and the flexibility to tailor their course to it, is an important part of improving the situation. I graduated university with nothing showreel-worthy since I had bits of modelling, bits of animation, bits of effects work, bits of character design... I ended up throwing out the lot and spending the last six months working to create a reel from scratch tailored to finding work as a character modeller (and the speed of my progress since ditching everything else has been astonishing). While everyone has different learning needs and I think the education route is useful and even necessary for some people, I can readily understand why some people prefer to teach themselves, especially with all the resources available these days.

Last edited by Birkie : 12-10-2008 at 01:56 AM.
 
Old 12-10-2008, 02:16 AM   #47
nickmarshallvfx
Expert
 
nickmarshallvfx's Avatar
portfolio
Nick Marshall
Lead Environment Artist / Matte Painter
Double Negative
Central London, United Kingdom
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,151
Send a message via MSN to nickmarshallvfx
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belltopper
space-sprayer, I just graduated from Teesside this year, and I think your rant was warranted. Your efforts to fix some of the shortcomings sound very admirable.


Thank you, that means a lot, and it is interesting that those problems extend out through the games courses as well as the animation courses. I will keep that in mind as we move forward with the staff to try and implement changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Belltopper
I ended up throwing out the lot and spending the last six months working to create a reel from scratch


Which is the exact position that I am in now, and a lot of others around me. Almost exactly 6 months until i leave uni, and i have just started the first shot for my showreel...

Sad situation really. And yes, you are right, the last time i checked, Teesside was ranked a close second behind Bournemouth for best in the UK, and it was statistics released by 3D world too that stated that.

How did it go for you after you left Teesside? Did you manage to get the reel together and find employment? Thats if you don't mind sharing, and i dont want to hi-jack this thread....

Nick
 
Old 12-19-2008, 08:22 PM   #48
ShekemUrShekem
Veteran
portfolio
Tom Reid
los angeles, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by vfx
Back in 2001, I had to have a full portfolio before I would be considered.. it doesn't seem quite so necessary these days when you read things like...

It helps to have some experience of computing and to feel comfortable with computers. Any experience in art & design, media or communication studies, music or music technology will be a great help whether through formal study or extra-curricular activities.



In my opinion, a portfolio requirement is a ridiculous prejudicial thing which serves only to bar people from actually attending a good school. If you are able to get the financial aid to go to one of these schools, then that's your money and no school should have the option of not allowing you in in you're able to pay. To hell with their reputation- this is where the whole 'school as a business' comes into play. Schools aren't here just to rank in the top 3 every year because they keep out the majority, accepting only the best...people, who incidentally, could probably go to work for top companies even without that school's degree.

I take a look at guys like pete draper and allan mac kay and these guys are specialists in visual effects and I don't know if they could model their way out of a paper bag, and I looked into every university out there and I see nothing out there that would expose someone to the particle systems/texture mapping/etc. required to create what those guys are able to.

On the flip side, for all of the people here claiming the school isn't necessary, they should be asking themselves why all the instructors they are learning from or have learned from have advanced degrees from such-and-such art school. Self-paced is find- I've done it for years, and I think I'm a fast learner and and familiar with multiple 3d applications to the point I can turn out some half decent stuff if I had to but in no way could I say I have a total handle on any one area.

Take a look at these online art schools for example. You're taking cursory modeling and animation courses alongside english 103, algebra, and all the other state mandated trash. And at 5 1/2 weeks you're paying 16,000$/year (academy of art online) for stuff you can realistically learn on your own and not end up with the heartburn of $64,000 in debt for your Bachelor's degree. Now look at Fxphd. This is a non-accredited organization, and I was able to see some of their courses and what's involved (not just the online descriptions) and their stuff is not expensive at all. I'm not sure how all online classes are but I just got done with a semester of 5 online classes at community college (policing in america, psychology, math, biology, and english 102) and I know from experience that the teachers hardly check their emails and if you have a problem you're going to have to wait around- and you better hope you don't have a problem too late where they don't get back to you in time. Did I learn anything with the online courses? No. Why? All the tests are open book (you dont have to read. You just look up the answers) and other people are able to send you their quizzes and tests, so you just combine all your work with theirs and when the next test comes up you put it all together in a MS Word doc and use the FIND function to get all your answers and you've just taken a 2 hour test in 30 minutes and got a 97 and learned nothing. Luckily, grants paid for my entire Associate's degree so it was nothing out of my pocket. This is why I've hesitsted a lot making a decision as to whether or not to commit myself to one of these schools, and so far I can't justify the cost. If I was to take a major at any of them I'd only consider the 2d stuff like photoshop-related and motion graphics stuff like after effects. Jobs in these fields are ,much more available than anything you'll find in 3d unless you're prepared to relocate- so far I haven't seen any 3d graphics jobs you can do from home.

But back to my point about the portfolio. The point of going to school is to learn how to be great, and requiring a great portfolio before they let you in really puts an end to a lot of people's hopes because they may not be one of the natural greats who can turn out a masterpiece on a school blackboard with a broken piece of chalk, but may have become great with the right training.
 
Old 12-19-2008, 11:38 PM   #49
Aneks
stain resistant
 
Aneks's Avatar
portfolio
aneks
compositor
Wellington, New Zealand
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,055
Quote:
Now look at Fxphd. This is a non-accredited organization, and I was able to see some of their courses and what's involved (not just the online descriptions) and their stuff is not expensive at all


I apologise if this sounds like a promo or a publicity rant.

One of the reasons for both the points you mentioned is that we at FXPHD have never aimed to be a school in the traditional sense. As such we don't have to jump through hoops in order to design curriculum. Everything is customer/client focused and each lecturer can cover whatever aspect they want in their own courses. Whereas traditional schools have to work to mandated guidelines and seek accreditation. FXPHD is only partially about the class material, the forums are crucial for learning and participation. Its not just a top down model of education. Look at what happens here at cgtalk. I personally have learnt more about CG through this website than I ever did at any formal training institution. Working and spending time in an informed professional community is the best way to learn.
__________________
aneks
compositor

 
Old 12-20-2008, 12:20 AM   #50
imashination
Expert
 
imashination's Avatar
portfolio
Matthew ONeill
3D Fluff
United Kingdom
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 8,798
Quote:
In my opinion, a portfolio requirement is a ridiculous prejudicial thing which serves only to bar people from actually attending a good school. If you are able to get the financial aid to go to one of these schools, then that's your money and no school should have the option of not allowing you in in you're able to pay. To hell with their reputation- this is where the whole 'school as a business' comes into play. Schools aren't here just to rank in the top 3 every year because they keep out the majority, accepting only the best...people, who incidentally, could probably go to work for top companies even without that school's degree.


I dont agree whatsoever. Universities are places of further learning, where you go when you want to take things further. It must be assumed that when you go there, you should have completed the basic requirements. If you want an english language university degree, you shouldnt be allowed on the course if you cant speak english. If you want to have a medical degree, you dont get on the course if you cant tell the diference between a leg and an arm.

Why? because if they let anyone in, as you want, then you will horribly slow down the other students. People far below the curve of the rest of the class soak up a huge amount of the teachers time and can seriously make things worse for the other people.

You say to hell with their reputation, again, no. If I get a degree from uni X and its reputation has turned to mud because it takes anyone, youve largely devalued someone else's degree and work. Uni X becomes the laughing stock amongst hiring companies and they learn to never hire anyone from there
__________________
Matthew O'Neill
www.3dfluff.com
 
Old 12-20-2008, 12:39 AM   #51
ShekemUrShekem
Veteran
portfolio
Tom Reid
los angeles, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 59
Argh

"If you want an english language university degree, you shouldnt be allowed on the course if you cant speak english. If you want to have a medical degree, you dont get on the course if you cant tell the diference between a leg and an arm."

To negate this, I'll go ahead and cite the example of basic spanish language class as a required humanities course where you actually LEARN to speak the language. There is no requirement that one take spanish in high school before taking college intro to spanish. The idea of school is to be taught and to learn and not have to possess the expert skills beforehand before one is even considered for a spot in the classroom.

Again I reiterate that the portfolio is a very stupid idea because of the various reasons I have already detailed plus both you and I know that the main thrust behind the portfolio requirement is the reputation of the school. Certain schools have SAT requirements and whatnot... minimum GPA requirements...youy know the rest, but even then they have non-credit classes you can take to get up to speed and possibly be accepted if you make it through them. In an art school requiring a big time portfolio, your future can literally rest in the hands of a bunch of elitist geeks who just don't like you for their club. Now, I know that you guys who are already working and graduated from these places will naturally say it's a great idea (because you're in the club) but rationality suggests that a university is somewhere one goes to learn something new- a profession. Med school requires you have a certain MCAt score; law requires you have a certain LSAT score before either will allow you into their respective schools to progress. However, the med student does not have to surgically reattach a cat's face to show he knows his way around a scalpel. Similarly, a law student isn't expected to bring in for consideration his previous successful cases in which he won convictions against high profile serial killers. Therein lies the difference between reality and your illustrations and examples which were beyond the pale of ridiculous.

Portfolios=bad ideas and just a tool to keep up the rep of a school at the expense of the student.

Last edited by ShekemUrShekem : 12-20-2008 at 12:49 AM.
 
Old 12-20-2008, 01:13 AM   #52
kelgy
Stranger in Town
 
kelgy's Avatar
portfolio
Kel G
Professionally unemployed
Surrey, Canada
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,397
Its frustrating that if you are in high school your science classes count for further education, but art classes often(at least when i was there) did not count for anything. They arent considered serious(or they werent in my time).
In university, you had to present a portfolio for art related programs and I had a substantial one because I did stuff outside of school.-I was very determined about my career interests, and I ran into the "elitist geeks who didnt like me."
In fact instead of demonstrating that i was very serious about art, and wanted to learn more, they opined that I should just go and get an art related job.

And at one art school here they said that while they ask to see a portfolio their motto was to throw out everything the student does and have them start over again.

Anyway after such experiences I gave up on art school programs.
 
Old 12-20-2008, 01:33 AM   #53
ShekemUrShekem
Veteran
portfolio
Tom Reid
los angeles, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 59
That's right, Kelgy. You've lived it. Many others have as well. It seems the dirty secret no one likes to bring up for fear of chasing away the money.

I don't want to hear how much of a 'rarity' it is to run into such elitist geeks, because it happens more than a little. Just like when you see cops busted for illegal crap they try to claim it's only a few bad apples when in reality corruption is much more widespread than they'd ever dare admit to. Cops, like school admissions panels, have the reputation of their organization to think about first and foremost, and will say whatever and do whatever they have to in order to keep that rep high.

To the point about being cut out for 3d...

Now, regardless of the total lies that will be told to the contrary, those who came into this field or applied to an art school with the portfolio of a college junior, will have had access to pirated, non-limited software and instructional dvds from which they learned their initial skills. No amount of using Maya 2009 PLE for the 30 days before it expires is going to get you up to speed to decide you're going to go ahead and lay out the $20k per year to REALLY learn it. It's complete bollocks to suggest otherwise. Personally, I don't care if you bought it legit or not, but if you're responding to this post from the position that you used maya for 6 months and now you're turning out masterclass-level work, it's because of the 6 years you used cracked versions of Maya 8, 8.5, and 2008 and all the total training and lynda rips you could get your hands on prior to making the leap to enroll at a college and getting Maya legit at a huge educational discount. Let's not pretend here and then crow about how important the kick-arse portfolio is when the next guy wasn't as connected as you were, so is looking for a seat in your class, having half your knowledge, but stayed legit and is rewarded for his efforts by being denied placement.

This...is reality.
 
Old 12-20-2008, 02:00 AM   #54
jeremybirn
Jeremy Birn
 
jeremybirn's Avatar
Jeremy Birn
Lighting Artist
Pixar Animation Studios
Berkeley, US
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,658
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShekemUrShekem
To the point about being cut out for 3d...

Now, regardless of the total lies that will be told to the contrary, those who came into this field or applied to an art school with the portfolio of a college junior, will have had access to pirated, non-limited software and instructional dvds from which they learned their initial skills. No amount of using Maya 2009 PLE for the 30 days before it expires is going to get you up to speed to decide you're going to go ahead and lay out the $20k per year to REALLY learn it. It's complete bollocks to suggest otherwise. Personally, I don't care if you bought it legit or not, but if you're responding to this post from the position that you used maya for 6 months and now you're turning out masterclass-level work, it's because of the 6 years you used cracked versions of Maya 8, 8.5, and 2008 and all the total training and lynda rips you could get your hands on prior to making the leap to enroll at a college and getting Maya legit at a huge educational discount. Let's not pretend here and then crow about how important the kick-arse portfolio is when the next guy wasn't as connected as you were, so is looking for a seat in your class, having half your knowledge, but stayed legit and is rewarded for his efforts by being denied placement.


I think you're making links between a few different issues here, and those issues aren't all directly correlated.

The issue of who uses pirated software instead free software like Maya PLE or Blender or Houdini Apprentice is not the same thing as the issue of who has taken their own time to show interest and develop their skills in a field. Some people have access to lots of great tools, and do little or nothing with them. Other people work on just about zero budget and where their software lacks a function learn to be creative and develop their own solutions, and still produce great work.

The issue of who has a head-start in a field before starting formal study is also a separate thing from the issue of who has an aptitude for it. Some people plug-away at a field for many years without ever making anything great. Often these are the same people who lack the ability to judge their own work or tell a competent decision from an incompetent one. In other people, I'm sometimes surprised by students who get started with a new tool, and are doing creative, interesting things with it very soon after you introduce them to it. You might know someone who has both the knack and the track record, and someone else who has neither of them, but they aren't the same issue at all.

-jeremy
__________________
Jeremy Birn
Author, Digital Lighting & Rendering, 3rd Edition
 
Old 12-20-2008, 02:03 AM   #55
Wick3dParticle
Technically an artist
 
Wick3dParticle's Avatar
portfolio
Ilan Gabai
FX TD
Blue Sky Studios
New York, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 743
Send a message via AIM to Wick3dParticle
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShekemUrShekem
"If you want an english language university degree, you shouldnt be allowed on the course if you cant speak english. If you want to have a medical degree, you dont get on the course if you cant tell the diference between a leg and an arm."

To negate this, I'll go ahead and cite the example of basic spanish language class as a required humanities course where you actually LEARN to speak the language. There is no requirement that one take spanish in high school before taking college intro to spanish. The idea of school is to be taught and to learn and not have to possess the expert skills beforehand before one is even considered for a spot in the classroom.

Again I reiterate that the portfolio is a very stupid idea because of the various reasons I have already detailed plus both you and I know that the main thrust behind the portfolio requirement is the reputation of the school. Certain schools have SAT requirements and whatnot... minimum GPA requirements...youy know the rest, but even then they have non-credit classes you can take to get up to speed and possibly be accepted if you make it through them. In an art school requiring a big time portfolio, your future can literally rest in the hands of a bunch of elitist geeks who just don't like you for their club. Now, I know that you guys who are already working and graduated from these places will naturally say it's a great idea (because you're in the club) but rationality suggests that a university is somewhere one goes to learn something new- a profession. Med school requires you have a certain MCAt score; law requires you have a certain LSAT score before either will allow you into their respective schools to progress. However, the med student does not have to surgically reattach a cat's face to show he knows his way around a scalpel. Similarly, a law student isn't expected to bring in for consideration his previous successful cases in which he won convictions against high profile serial killers. Therein lies the difference between reality and your illustrations and examples which were beyond the pale of ridiculous.

Portfolios=bad ideas and just a tool to keep up the rep of a school at the expense of the student.



I graduated from one of those "Portfolio" schools. And let me first say that I didnt get out of my major what I expected to. But I do think that I learned a lot because of the type of environment I was in. Surrounded by people just as passionate and hard working as I was. I had no previous art background...came from the military actually. But I spent a whole year studying art on my own building my portfolio before applying to the school. I dont think that whoever hasnt gone to a school with an acceptence process is a slacker, but I did not come across too many in school.
Now I do agree with the "bar" idea because I think that there are enough institutions out there to provide education to everyone. A student who wants to learn wont be denied by every single school out there. So its nice that a student has an option to go to a private school or public school.
Do you think that Harvard, Yale & MIT should start opening their gates to everyone and anyone who wishes to get in? First come first serve?

But thats not really the arguement in this thread. Regardless to weather you need or dont need a portfolio to get in to school, these schools need to take serious measures to improve the current teaching methods. You learn more in 6 months working, than you do in 4 years of college.

~Ilan
__________________
my amazing tumblr
 
Old 12-20-2008, 02:20 AM   #56
Wick3dParticle
Technically an artist
 
Wick3dParticle's Avatar
portfolio
Ilan Gabai
FX TD
Blue Sky Studios
New York, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 743
Send a message via AIM to Wick3dParticle
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShekemUrShekem
To the point about being cut out for 3d...

Now, regardless of the total lies that will be told to the contrary, those who came into this field or applied to an art school with the portfolio of a college junior, will have had access to pirated, non-limited software and instructional dvds from which they learned their initial skills. No amount of using Maya 2009 PLE for the 30 days before it expires is going to get you up to speed to decide you're going to go ahead and lay out the $20k per year to REALLY learn it. It's complete bollocks to suggest otherwise.




Im gonna add something here just because I saw this after I posted. I never even touched Maya before beginning school. I wanted to make video games (at the time), and did research on which college programs were available to teach that. When I did end up applying I had a portfolio of drawings and paintings, thats it. I probably would have never touched art if it werent for that. At school we didnt touch 3d courses until our 2nd year. When I first discovered maya I was blown away. My school had a "resource center" and a lab...where I spent tons of hours watching dvds and experimenting. Most schools now days carry dvds and have licenses of Maya for students to work on.
So if you dont believe me...its cool. But I really just started the whole 3d thing in 2002, and graduated in 2007 (after taking a year off to work). And my reel sucked when I graduated, but I had been interning for 2 years while in school...which is what lead me to my first job. Im not saying everyone does things the way I did...But I am saying that not everyone does things the way you say it.


~Ilan
__________________
my amazing tumblr

Last edited by Wick3dParticle : 12-20-2008 at 02:23 AM.
 
Old 12-20-2008, 03:04 AM   #57
ShekemUrShekem
Veteran
portfolio
Tom Reid
los angeles, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 59
As far as the big schools having big requirements- at least here, one may get help (tutoring) in order to bring up grades in hope of getting the GPA up to par. In this field, there is such a scarcity of teachers concentrated on the usual coasts, that any help is few and far between if available at all. If a school needs to bar students from getting in to keep up their rep then their teachers must necessarily be lousy, or they'd be able to teach these students. Every college that teaches this stuff has intro courses TO the major and you don't need to be some closet pro to get a seat in the class. The requirement of a portfolio makes no sense upon seeing the graduate work of people who went to schools having no requirements who would have otherwise been unable to pursue that path at the big name school that is interested in rep and cash.

You're the guy making a living at this 3d, not me, we know...but understand that portfolio requirements in computer graphics leans heavily in the favor of the guy who has both the access and the talent. It's like the old boxing axiom about in a contest between two equally skilled fighters, the bigger man is going to win. It applies here in regards to the guy whose had access compared to the guy with none; one gets in, the other gets rejected. This is why the hardcore portfolio reqs are unfair and nothing more than an issue of prestige for the school that likes its name in the mags every month.

If your school has no portfolio reqs or if it has super strict dumb ones, the wash-outs will wash out no matter what, and only the qualified will make it through. The "slower students holding up the class" argument holds no water at all because everybody is going to be starting out in the intro classes anyway so it's going to be slow for the entire class. Nobody is starting out in the advanced classes anyway, so those not cut out for it will hit the brick wall shortly thereafter and not slow up future classes. It's a non-arguement.

Last edited by ShekemUrShekem : 12-20-2008 at 03:08 AM.
 
Old 12-20-2008, 03:18 AM   #58
ShekemUrShekem
Veteran
portfolio
Tom Reid
los angeles, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 59
Gabai, did you do anything for the TV show 'Fringe'? That crane shot looks familiar...
your area code is where, Allentown?
 
Old 12-20-2008, 04:06 AM   #59
iikii
Creator
 
iikii's Avatar
portfolio
Choo Bin Yong
Freelancer
Singapore
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 103
School is the right place to learn the right things in the right time.

If school is no good, try books.
 
Old 12-20-2008, 05:11 AM   #60
Wick3dParticle
Technically an artist
 
Wick3dParticle's Avatar
portfolio
Ilan Gabai
FX TD
Blue Sky Studios
New York, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 743
Send a message via AIM to Wick3dParticle
Yes I work on Fringe, and the area code is just the Philly burbs.

Look dude, I really think your looking at this all wrong.
Its not a status club, and its not a ticket in to the industry.
Some schools just require a lil extra preparation than others.

Think about AP classes. My older brother was put in AP his whole life. I never made it in. I wanted to take them as a kid...but as I got older I didn't give a crap. I think its cool that he was able to get in... I don't feel like "well they are preventing me from learning better things". Its all good...I still got a fine high school education.
I was not satisfied with what I got out of my program in college though. So who ever didn't go there isn't missing out on the worlds greatest teachers. I did learn a lot about art, because all of the people I went to school with only cared about art. And so if they only have room for 500 students a year, they are trying their best to get as many students who feel similarly about art together. Admissions failed...because I didn't have that extensive background.

Anyhow...no need to be bitter about things...if anything I am the one left with 80k in debt.
You live in LA...so you are in the right place to find work.
If you have a reel blast it to the studios...big & small.
If you dont...I would recommend building one if you are still interested in working in the industry.


As for resources...we got the internet. You got a problem, you post it here...tons of people here helping eachother 24/7.


~Ilan
__________________
my amazing tumblr

Last edited by Wick3dParticle : 12-20-2008 at 05:46 AM.
 
Thread Closed share thread


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
CGSociety
Society of Digital Artists
www.cgsociety.org

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright 2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump
Miscellaneous

All times are GMT. The time now is 04:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.